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Cordiant Taps SpencerStuart

NEW YORK—Cordiant Communications Group has retained executive recruiting firm SpencerStuart in London to find a replacement for chairman Charlie Scott, sources said. Scott, who has been with the British holding company for 13 years, announced in September his plans to step down when a successor is named. Leading the search is SpencerStuart consultant Jan Hall, the former European CEO of GGT Group, sources said. Hall did not return calls. Separately, CCG agency Bates is in negotiations with the top candidate for its vacant North American CEO post, according to sources. The New York-based agency initiated the search in late June following the departure of Bill Whitehead in May. Korn/Ferry International in New York is managing that search.

Lévy: Garfinkel Decision Expected ‘Soon’

CHICAGO—Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy said he expects a decision on whether Lee Garfinkel will take the top creative post at Publicis “rather soon,” but declined to say what has held up negotiations. Garfinkel, worldwide chief creative officer of Publicis’ D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, was offered the top job at Publicis following the demise of D’Arcy. Garfinkel could not be reached. Lévy acknowledged that the status of numerous D’Arcy employees remains uncertain. Sorting out the post-D’Arcy Publicis “is taking more time, but at the end of the day we should be able to mitigate most of the consequences,” he said. “It is much better to take time and save jobs and accounts.”

3 Pitch $10-15 Mil. Supercuts Business

NEW YORK—Final presentations begin this week in the $10-15 million Supercuts creative review, sources said. Three agencies will present to the client at its Minneapolis headquarters. The finalists are Omnicom Group’s Element 79 in Chicago and independent shops The Richards Group in Dallas and Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York. Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco withdrew from the review two weeks ago, citing its workload. The client could not be reached.

Kmart Plays Role in Holiday Reality Series

DETROIT—Kmart Corp. will be one of the principal sponsors of ABC’s Dear Santa reality-TV special, which airs on Thursday. The deal was orchestrated by OMD in New York, said a Kmart representative. Kmart will run seven holiday TV spots from Omnicom shops TBWA\Chiat\Day and the Arnell Group, both in New York. The show will feature a segment in which Saturday Night Live alum Joe Piscopo plays Santa at a Kmart.

Account Activity

Priceline.com hired Interpublic Group’s Gotham in New York for its estimated $15 million ad account. The move was expected [Adweek Online, Nov. 22]. The client moved its account in-house from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in New York earlier this year. … Four shops will present next month in the review for Analog Devices’ estimated $10 million creative assignment, sources said: incumbent Stringer in Burlington, Mass.; Allen & Gerritsen in Watertown, Mass.; Partners & Simons in Boston; and Via in Portland, Maine, sources said.